Barriers to Getting Educators Online, by Denise Ethier and Jennifer Gold
One Educator's ExperienceLeslie is an educator who is an accomplished telecommunications user. She teaches at a middle school in the Midwest and uses communications technology in her 7th-grade curriculum. For example, her students exchange email with penpals around the world. In addition to these classroom applications, Leslie also uses electronic communication to exchange information about her students' projects with other educators and to get good ideas for classroom projects. She uses technology at home too.
Leslie has a child with a learning disability and she regularly shares her thoughts and feelings and "talks" online about her child's experiences at school. Often her postings are simply an outlet for her frustration. At other times, she seeks advice from specialists, teachers, and clinicians from around the country.
Unlike Leslie, many educators are not taking full advantage of telecommunications. That's because they face real barriers in making use of a medium that should offer easy access to curriculum-enriching resources and professional development opportunities.